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If you have been playing online or live blackjack for a while you may have heard of the Stearn blackjack betting system. This betting progression has been used in blackjack successfully by some players. There are others who say the system is doomed to fail. We took a closer look at the Stearn blackjack betting system and what we found out may surprise you.

About Stearn Betting in Blackjack

Progression betting systems are used by many players in many different types of casino games. There are betting progressions for blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. The Stearn betting progression is a system that can be used in any of these games. It is ideally suited to card games like baccarat and blackjack which involve betting in units.

The origin of the system is somewhat hard to pin down. It has been the subject of many instructional videos and books. The creator is a professional gambler named George Stearn. He claims to have used the betting progression successfully for more than 20 years in various live casinos.

The system appears to be a version of the Martingale betting progression. It should be approached with caution, especially by the novice player. This system is classified as a negative betting progression.

There is one important distinction that needs to be made about blackjack betting systems. They are not the same thing as blackjack betting strategy. Basic strategy does not depend upon a betting progression. The best betting progressions are useless unless you have some knowledge of basic strategy.

How the Stearn Betting System Works

To play the Stearn blackjack betting system a starting bankroll of $1,000 is recommended. This is much higher than the normal 50X the table minimum that Counting Edge recommends. The ultimate goal of the progression is to walk away with a profit of $100.

The system is actually a string of bets as follows:


You begin the progression, and if you win you repeat the bet. If you win a second time in a row, you start the progression all over. If you lose, you move to the next level. You continue moving up until you either win again or reach the end of the progression.

If you lose all the bets in the sequence you will have lost a total of $310. You would then have enough of your bankroll left to play through the progression twice more without a win.

The goal is to walk away from the session with a profit of $100. Some players may try to push their profit beyond this point, but doing so is adding more risk.

High Risk and Low Reward

There is no blackjack betting system that guarantees that a player will win each and every time. There are good systems that can help a player manage their money in such a way that walking away a winner is more likely. The Stearn blackjack betting system may not be one of those. Our initial impression of it is that the system is unlikely to consistently yield a profit that is commensurate with the risk required.

In other words, you are going to be putting up a lot of money with the Stearn betting system to win a very small amount. One must take into account the reality of streaks and understand that losing multiple hands in a row is very possible. You could play through the progression without making your $100 profit.

Stearn Pros and Cons

We are not here to simply bash the Stearn betting system. In fairness there are both pros and cons to the system. Let’s look.

The advantages include:

  • It gives the player a betting exit strategy
  • It establishes a win limit
  • It is easy to master and track compared to some other systems
  • The Stearn betting system is probably safer than the Martingale

Unfortunately, the negatives of this betting system are considerable:

  • It requires a very large starting bankroll
  • High risk versus a low reward
  • Player can lose more than they are comfortable with

Can the Stearn Betting System Be Used in Online Blackjack?

There is one very good thing that can be said about the Stearn blackjack betting system. It can be used to great effect if you are playing blackjack online. You do not need any other elements such as card counting to use this system.

Table limits for blackjack can also be lower online. That can mean that you could modify this progression a little to lower the individual wagers in the sequence. That means you could perhaps stretch your bankroll further.

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